It is important to speak out against hate wherever, whenever, however it appears in our community. That is why I join those speaking out against an event to be held at the Brooklyn Commons this evening featuring anti-Semitic so-called researcher Chistopher Bollyn.
I am deeply disappointed that the Brooklyn Commons is hosting this anti-Semitic organizer. I urge Brooklyn Commons to listen to its constituents who have argued the event be cancelled immediately. I applaud the organizations based at the Commons who have spoken out and made known their rejection of Bollyn’s hateful perspective.
Our community is among the most diverse in New York State. Our neighborhoods are home to residents whose roots stretch from China and the Caribbean to Mexico, Nigeria, and all points in between. Any one of them, due to their background, due to their sexual orientation, due to their religion could be the target of hate. Speaking up against hate is speaking up for every one of these neighbors.
This is an issue that the most liberal and most conservative constituents in my district can agree: No group should be singled out as the cause of all the world’s problems. That is precisely the perspective Bollyn is offering. He has pursued tactics all too common to dehumanize Jews, including likening Jews to wolves. We must actively fight against these views because they have real impacts. According to the ADL, in 2015 Brooklyn had the most anti-Semitic acts of the greater New York City area—59 acts of assault, harassment and vandalism out of a total of 132.
We need to speak out and reject all forms of hate and work constructively against hate when it turns up on our doorstep. To that end, I encourage people who are opposed to this event to join my United Against Violence Taskforce. Our community has suffered the consequences of hate in the form of hate crimes whose victims have been Jews, Muslims, and people from the African-American community, the LGBT community, and others. We need to join together to express our vision of a diverse New York. Whether by way of joining our Task Force or working actively in the community against hate, we can demonstrate that this abhorrent presentation has no place in our community.
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